Case: In Re: J.B., L.H., L.S., R.P.

19-00019 | Maryland state trial court

Filed Date: April 2, 2020

Closed Date: April 10, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: This is a suit filed to obtain the release of as many juvenile detainees in Maryland as possible, due to COVID-19. The court denied to enter all the requested relief on April 4, 2020, but stated that each judge needed to communicate with juvenile justice stakeholders to make individualized release determinations. The case is now closed. On April 2, 2020, four juvenile detainees filed this petition for immediate and extraordinary relief in the Appeals Court of Maryland. They we…

COVID-19 Summary: This is a suit filed to obtain the release of as many juvenile detainees in Maryland as possible, due to COVID-19. The court denied to enter all the requested relief on April 4, 2020, but stated that each judge needed to communicate with juvenile justice stakeholders to make individualized release determinations. The case is now closed.


On April 2, 2020, four juvenile detainees filed this petition for immediate and extraordinary relief in the Appeals Court of Maryland. They were represented by the public defender's office. Petitioners requested that the court take action to release as many juvenile detainees as possible in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Petitioners argued that because the only known method of arresting the spread of the illness was by increasing physical distances between people, it was imperative to lower the population of inmates in juvenile detention centers to stop the spread. By lowering the population, detention centers could therefore create more space within the centers to allow for increased social distancing. Petitioners requested that the court create a system by which they would automatically release some detainees based on age, offense, co-morbidities, and expression of symptoms. All other inmates would have an individualized assessment that examined flight risk and threat to the community. They also requested that courts adopt new rules that would lower the number of new inmates sent to juvenile detention centers.

Two days later the Appeals Court issued an order denying all the relief requested, stating that an order from the Chief Judge would follow soon thereafter. Later that day, Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera did issue an order. While Judge Barbera's order was less robust than what petitioners had asked for, she instructed other judges to "communicate with juvenile justice system stakeholders" in order to figure out who should be released on an individualized basis. Factors to be considered included co-morbidities, expressions of symptoms, whether release posed a risk to the juvenile or others, and whether the inmate's release was "in the interest of justice."

The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Jack Hibbard (7/13/2020)

People


Judge(s)

Barbera, Mary Ellen (Maryland)

Biran, Jonathan (Maryland)

Booth, Brynja M (Maryland)

Getty, Joseph M (Maryland)

Hotten, Michele D. (Maryland)

McDonald, Robert N (Maryland)

Watts, Shirley M (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

DeWolfe, Paul (Maryland)

Egan, Jennifer L. (Maryland)

Pal, Nabanita (Maryland)

Judge(s)

Barbera, Mary Ellen (Maryland)

Biran, Jonathan (Maryland)

Booth, Brynja M (Maryland)

Getty, Joseph M (Maryland)

Hotten, Michele D. (Maryland)

McDonald, Robert N (Maryland)

Watts, Shirley M (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

DeWolfe, Paul (Maryland)

Egan, Jennifer L. (Maryland)

Pal, Nabanita (Maryland)

Saccenti, Brian Matthew (Maryland)

St. Jean, Deborah (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Dudek, Joseph (Maryland)

Stone, Victor D. (Maryland)

Wolfgang, Kurt William (Maryland)

Other Attorney(s)

Bernhardt, Julia Doyle (Maryland)

Curry, Timothy Michael (District of Columbia)

Fraser, John W. (New York)

Gardner, Debra (Maryland)

Jones, William Hambler (Maryland)

Margulies, Adam Z. (New York)

Nathan, Stuart M. (Maryland)

Pothier, Karl Aram (Maryland)

Scali, Mary Ann (District of Columbia)

Shnider, Sherika Joy (District of Columbia)

Stempel, Adam Lindbeck (District of Columbia)

Yeung, Christopher (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

19-00019

Docket

Maryland state appellate court

April 28, 2020

April 28, 2020

Docket

19-00019

Application For Immediate And Extraordinary Relief: Brief of Petitioners

In Re: J.B., L.H., L.S., R.P. v. Finan

Maryland state appellate court

April 2, 2020

April 2, 2020

Complaint

19-00019

Corrected Order

In Re: J.B., L.H., L.S., R.P., v. Finan

Maryland state appellate court

226 A.D.3d 935, 2020 WL 1846895

April 10, 2020

April 10, 2020

Order/Opinion

19-00019

Administrative Order Guiding the Response of the Circuit Courts Sitting as Juvenile Courts to the COVID-19 Emergency as it Relates to Those Juveniles who are Detained, Committed Pending Placement or in Commitments

Maryland state appellate court

April 13, 2020

April 13, 2020

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 26, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Maryland

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 2, 2020

Closing Date: April 10, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Four inmates in Maryland juvenile detention centers

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Special Case Type(s):

Appellate Court is initial court

Habeas

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Issues

General:

Deinstitutionalization/decarceration

Juveniles

Sanitation / living conditions

COVID-19:

Mitigation Granted

Mitigation Requested

Release-process created/modified

Release Requested